22/08/2018: The IWW calls for solidarity with Italian workers Co-Operative Ri-MAFLOW to help it survive. We urge our members to read the below statement and do what they can to help. Share their story, donate to the cause, encourage other organizations to put out similar statements in solidarity with Ri-MAFLOW.
SOME TIME AGO, the owners of a factory in a deprived area of South West Milan dismissed all of the workers and shut down the factory. 330 people lost their jobs in one day. The factory was abandoned.
THEN, about 6 years ago some people got together and reclaimed the factory. They started a self managed co-op. They started experimenting with reusing and recycling raw materials. They built a network with local businesses to help this deprived area flourish. Together with other groups, they founded a grassroots economy and social project called FuoriMercato (Outside the Market). They employed 120 people.
NOW, the local authorities have shut Ri-MAFLOW down. Their President Massimo Lettieri was arrested and charged with criminal activities linked to unlawful waste treatment. From its start, Ri-MAFLOW has been at the forefront of experimenting with reclaiming and reusing raw materials in an ecological way. Because of this, they are now accused of playing an active part in unlawful treatment of waste materials. Their assets have been seized. Everyone has lost their job and their wages. Massimo Lettieri has been in jail for a couple of months and because he is under investigation he cannot receive any letters or messages of solidarity from outside.
SO, we encourage people to support the cause. There are some materials in English you can download from their website and share (link below). You can donate money. You can ask your activist groups, networks, organisations, to publish a statement of solidarity with Ri-MAFLOW.